Visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand’s tranquil city popular for its quaint temples, for the first time? Make sure you have our list of top things to do there handy as you plan your itinerary.
Explore the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
No matter if you are looking for a souvenir or just a casual stroll for experiencing the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar must be a mandatory stop on your itinerary. The vendors line up the footpaths along several blocks from Th Tha Phae to Th Loi Kroh and sell everything from little trinkets to clothing and home decor. One can find plenty of other souvenirs including house ware, dresses, elephant pants, jewellery, shoes, bags, muay Thai shorts, toys, antiques, knock-off sunglasses and more. There are plenty of food stalls around as well should you need a snack. Visit the market after 6pm if you are hoping to see the whole action.
Spend Time with Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park
An elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre that came into existence in 1990’s, the Elephant Nature Park is a great place to spend some family time together. Most of the resident elephants have been rescued and live under great care and supervision in the park that spreads over 60 kilometres. The visitors can wash and feed the gentle giants and spend an interactive day under the guidance of expert mahouts. It is quite a sight to watch herds of elephants engaged in shared mud bath. A vegetarian lunch buffet is usually arranged for visiting guests.
Take Cooking Classes
Thai food has had the world appreciating its fine flavours and when in Thailand you have the opportunity to taste it in its most authentic form. What is even better is learning how to perfect Thai flavours and create the renowned Thai dishes in your own kitchen once your journey is over. Fortunately, Chiang Mai is bustling with some great cooking schools where Thai cooking classes are offered to tourists. Some of the popular cooking schools here include May Kaidee’s Cooking School, Sammy’s Organic Thai Cooking School, Thai Farm Cooking School, Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School as well as The Basil Cookery School.
Spend Time amidst Nature at the Doi Suthep – Pui National Park
Two of northern Thailand’s most sacred peaks, the twin summits of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui kiss the slopes of mountains and hide behind thick clouds on most days of the year. The breathtaking beauty of the mountains aside, the area has been preserved as a national park and attracts thousands of pilgrims and nature-lovers throughout the year. Around 300 bird species and 2000 species call the mountains their home and the park is a popular destination for organised mountain biking tours. Many thundering waterfalls as well as natural hot water pools are scattered across the park and contribute towards lending it its awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Explore the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders
The brainchild of the husband and wife Manop Ratana Rittirong Gul, and Rattana Rumpa Rittirong, the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders is one-of-its-own kind of museums in the world. All through this small museum, one can find insects, beetles, butterflies and mosquitoes of different kinds along with detailed information on each of them, making it a great place to take your kids to. The museum also features a number of surreal paintings and other art works made by the couple themselves. The museum remains open all seven days of the week, from 09.00-17.00.